This isn’t going to be a long blog by any stretch of the imagination but will be something that I feel quite passionate about. I have members of my family who class in the extremely vulnerable category, and so unlike me (where I have been able to still pop out for the odd walk and wrap up in my HazMat suit to go to the post office), they have been limited to the 200m radius around their back door.
Having said that, in order for me to continue being able to have my treatment each month, I am required to be incredibly cautious and treat myself as very vulnerable. Of course this is partially due to having MS but also through coming into contact with other people who are more vulnerable than me.
Myself and those I love have been abiding by the rules and we are lucky to have stayed safe and well. Physically well. However, for the most part when we tune into the daily briefings, we are continually frustrated as the lock down eases for everyone other than us. It feels as though a more inclusive strategy needs to be considered.
Certainly, the isolation for people with illnesses and disabilities, the lack of social interaction and physical touch, financial difficulty and anxiety over the loss of control and independence may well lead to exacerbation of existing conditions, and cause new mental health concerns.
Worryingly, the government did say that they were committed to supporting those who were the most vulnerable. I believe that they genuinely believed that they would – but they are falling short.
As the lockdown has loosened, the most vulnerable are left entirely ‘shielded’. While some isolated people can now form social bubbles, the most vulnerable continue to be left without any guidance on when this may end for them. It’s such an anti climax to get to the end of each announcement to hear that it’s for everyone except you… I would love to know when the vulnerable and disabled will be included in the recovery.
Why am I so passionate about this? Well as someone with MS, I recognise that people with disabilities are already more likely to be at risk of being excluded from areas of society including social, community and employment opportunities. Post covid, this may well be likely to widen. I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please get in touch!!